The stories of police demanding and collecting bribes from motorists are as rampant as they are unsubstantiated. Our public opinion survey shows that one in every ten persons have claimed to have paid a bribe in the past year to access public services ranging from health and education to justice. It’s a haunting reality for any public service entity and yesterday we asked Second in Charge of the Orange Walk Police Department, Julius Cantun, to shed light on these findings as it pertains to local police officers. Here’s what he told us.
INSPECTOR JULIUS CANTUN – 2nd in Command, OW Police
“It is sad and is a pity that despite the effort of the Second in Command of the Orange Walk Police department to sensitize the public in all media houses, I personally have been to several media houses, I have personally given my personal cellular number to the media to the public that whenever we have a situation of corruption occurring they can feel free and call me any time of the day and I will personally will look into the matter, the fact that you forgot to put on your helmets is not excuse, ignorance of the law is no excuse, you can’t come and you say that you did not know that you had to put on your helmet, however the police officer have a duty to maintain, they have a duty to the public and to the community and if in any event they fail by engaging in corrupt activity then they are not just breaking the law they are also breaking their oath to the crown that they will maintain law and order and as a result we as the senior command will not be tolerant, we have zero tolerance to corruption and if this is the case as soon as we have enough evidence against any police officers they will be arrested and charge and taken before the court like any other person because nobody is above the law, uniform or no uniform one there is the evidence the high command in Orange Walk will deal with them accordingly.”
And while bribe paying levels remain very high across the country, people believe they have the power to stop corruption and the number of those willing to combat the abuse of power, secret dealings and bribery is significant.
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